A dispossessed, violent man's life is a disastrous attempt to exist outside the social order. Successively deprived of parents and homes and with few other ties, Ballard descends to the level of a cave dweller as he falls deeper into crime and degradation.
On the first day of shooting, James Franco, David Shields and Caleb Powell throw out the script when a real life argument breaks out between the three of them about what can and can't be ... See full summary »
The original book upon which the movie is based is told from the perspective of 15 different characters over 59 chapters. Split screens are used throughout much of the movie and this is designed to reflect the different perspectives of the characters. See more »
(at around 23 mins) Just before the reverend begins to sing, "Shall we gather at the river", and just as Anse says, "She's going to a better place," the boom mic is visible above his head. See more »
My father used to say that the reason for living was to get ready to stay dead for a long time.
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I was almost shocked when i heard that they would be making a movie out of my favorite book, and the fact that James Franco and Danny McBride would be in it did not leave me with a good feeling. I was blown away, however, at what a great adaptation it is.
In fact, i'm not sure i'd even call it an adaptation. It IS the book. I cant think of any other movie that was truer to the source material. Obviously the book is much more long winded, and is filled with long, and often puzzling monologues from all the main characters. It's more dream like, and ponderous. But i cant think of anything that the movie left out, or missed, or put it's particular "spin" on, it was all dead on.
That said, the book is a difficult read. The movie is equally difficult. You could read the entire book, and have little idea what it's about. Similarly, you could easily watch this entire movie and be completely puzzled by it. There's a lot of important plot points that gets covered, and you barely even have time to realize exactly what it is the characters are saying. Once again though, the book is the same. Questions like: why is Varadamin's mom a fish? Why is Jewel's mom a horse? Why doesn't Darl have a mom? These are sort of answered, just like in the book, but they also seem completely absurd to even ask. It's a story more about the people involved in it, and not so much about the events that take place, or even the truthfulness of anything or anyone.
I would imagine most viewers will struggle to even understand what it is that the characters are saying, as they all have thick southern accents, Anse being almost unintelligible. Adding to the confusing is the fact that most everything they say is highly complex, poetry like prose that doesn't particularly care if you're following closely or not, they're still going to say it. Once again, pretty much how the book is.
So it's a difficult to understand book, and it's a difficult to understand movie. I certainly loved it, but i suspect most viewers will hate it.
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